Tamizh Puthandu and Vishu

Its 14th April tomorrow … Here in Johannesburg it is of no significance but back in India its Rongaali Bihu – the Assamese New Year (1st Day of Chitrai or Bohaag)); Vaisakhi or Baisakhi – the Punjabi New Year (1st Day of Vaisakh); Sinhala – the Sinhala New Year (1st Day of Chaitra); Naba Barsa – the Bengali New Year (1st Day of Baisakh) _ BUT the one that I am close to is the Tamizh Puthandu (or the Tamil New Year, 1st day of Chithrai) and Vishu – the Malayalam New Year (1st Day of Medam).

At home, it’s festive environment for us as we follow both the Vishu and Tamizh Puthandu tradition. The day used to start with the “Vishukkani” - an auspicious kani (first sight) at the crack of dawn on the Vishu day would prove lucky for the entire year. Vishukkani points to a year of abundance—both spiritually and materially. Food, light, money, knowledge—all should fill our life. This is a photo of our Vishukkani that we had last year. Wah … Sheer nostalgia !! :)
It is then followed by a bath, Puja and the visit to the temple. It is also accompanied by preparation of various food items. One that I love the most includes 'Maanga Pachadi', a sweet, sour and bitter dish made of raw mangoes, jaggery and neem flowers to signify different aspects of life. Wow … now, we never found the need flowers to add most times … But if we did then we added that in the Rasam and not in the Maanga Pachadi. :) .. My father usually loved reading the Panchangam (almanac) on that day – which mostly predicted all good things in life.

After that we relaxed at home – watching some new Tamil/Malayalam movie featured on Sun TV or Asianet. After overeating because its worth it … we had a nice afternoon nap … Wow … What a day it is ... Truly Bliss!! … Here in Johannesburg I would be in office, like any other day !! Sigh !!!!!! :(

Anyways ... Happy New Year !! Happy Vishu !! Tamizh Nal Puthandu Vazhthugal !!

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